Articles by Michal Pavlasek

About Michal Pavlasek

Michal Pavlásek, Ph.D. is social anthropologist, university teacher, freelance journalist and documentarist, Turkish coffee lover, researcher at the Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Co-founder of Anthropictures - flexible association of social scientists providing independent field research. In his research focuses on migration and multuculturalism. Some of his writings you find here: https://cas-cz.academia.edu/MichalPavlasek

Refugees and the Image of Suffering: Why Does Nobody Listen?

From the diary of false faith in the outside world. Last year during my presence on the Balkan migrant route, I struggled with a number of new roles. First I was a volunteer at the borders, then all of a sudden I was to direct a documentary, and then I became a journalist, whose job was to inform the public about everyday affairs in the form of personal diary reports. I do not wish to talk about the instances when media have failed to report about migrants and refugees, nor how these issues are covered by the media (on this issue I recommend this great analysis). After a critical (self-)reflection of my own volu ..

Refugees & Volunteering: Beyond the Culture of Giving

Having returned from my volunteering activities in the Balkans, I started reflecting on certain aspects of refugee aid in a number of schools, universities, and in my interviews. After my talk, some of my listeners would come and say: ok, you’ve kind of discouraged us from helping them. However, their reaction stemmed from a misunderstanding, because after all, my goal was to present some of the problematic aspects of volunteer aid work that came from my critical self-reflection. In any case, how did the purpose of volunteer aid work disappear from my consciousness?  Help’s lost ideals Let me use a metaphor ..